Harvard has won seven straight times against Yale, a program record (Gil Talbot).
One of four undefeated teams remaining in Division I, No. 14/15 Harvard football welcomes archrival Yale to Harvard Stadium for the 131st playing of The Game. The Crimson, which has won 13-straight games, the longest active streak in the FCS, sits at 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the Ancient Eight, while the Bulldogs are 8-1 and 5-1 in league play. The game features the Ivy League's top defense (Harvard allows 11.0 ppg.) and the conference's best offense (Yale is scoring 43.0 ppg).
Harvard is seeking its 17th undefeated season in program history and third under head coach Tim Murphy. The Crimson is also searching for its seventh undefeated season in Ivy play.
The game can be viewed live nationally on the NBC Sports Network. Live stats are available at GoCrimson.com.
Use the all new Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all three platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
Fans use #GetUpForGameDay, #GameDayAtTheGame, #HY2014, #BeatYale for the football game this week.
For the first time, ESPN's College Gameday will be hosted by Harvard, and it is the second time the Crimson will appear on the program. The weekly show, which airs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST, is making its second trip to an Ivy League site, as Penn hosted College Gameday in 2002 on a day it faced the Crimson at Franklin Field.
Twelve years to the day Penn and Harvard were on gameday in 2002 (Nov. 16), ESPN announced Harvard would host the show this week.
Ivy Title Picture
On the final day of the season, the Crimson, which earned a share of its 16th league championship last week, can capture the full share of the Ivy League title with a victory over Yale.
Saturday's game will be the 131st meeting between Harvard and Yale in the historic rivalry that dates back to 1875.
Last Year's Meeting
Last season, Harvard, with the help of sophomore Paul Stanton, Jr.'s four total touchdowns, outmuscled Yale, 34-7, at the Yale Bowl. Also, following the conclusion of the Harvard-Yale showdown, Dartmouth shocked league-leading Princeton, 28-24, to give Harvard a share of the 2013 Ivy League title and lead the Crimson student-athletes to celebrate in the streets of New Haven.
Last Time Out
Running back Paul Stanton, Jr., rushed for a career-high 235 yards and added three TDs on the ground, helping then-No. 17/17 Harvard football earn a fourth quarter comeback and knock off Penn, 34-24, last Saturday at Franklin Field. With the victory, the Crimson clinched a share of its 16th Ivy League title and eighth under Tim Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football.
Stanton's 235 rushing yards at Penn Nov. 15 was the third most for a single-game in school history behind Matt Johnson '92 (323 yards at Brown in 1991) and Chris Menick '00 (261 yards vs. Holy Cross in 1997). Stanton carried the ball 22 times and had a long rush of 75 yards on a TD in the second quarter. He also finished with three catches for 41 yards, giving him 276 all-purpose yards on the day. Stanton's all-purpose yard total is the most for a Harvard player since Matt Johnson ran for those 323 yards at Brown and his 235 rushing yards is the most since Menick's game in 1997.
For his effort at Penn, he was tabbed Ivy Offensive Player of the Week.
Harvard gained its seventh-straight win over Yale in 2013 to record the school's best run in the series and providing a rare undefeated career for Harvard's seniors against the Bulldogs. In the series, Harvard graduating classes have gone unbeaten against the Bulldogs four times with the latest coming from 2010-13. Yale has also had six such occurrences, but none since a six-year undefeated streak from 1902-07 that provided three graduating classes with perfect HY records.
Nation's Best D
Harvard ranks first in the FCS in scoring defense (11.0 points allowed per game), is second in rushing defense (82.6 ypg.), second in first downs allowed (148) and ninth in total defense (292.8 yards allowed per game).
With its 9-0 record, Harvard is just one of two remaining undefeated FCS teams (Coastal Carolina) and one of four Division I teams (Florida State and Marshall) in the country.
The Crimson has started the season 9-0 three times (2001, 2004) under head coach Tim Murphy (since 1994). Harvard has opened the year with eight-straight wins 21 times overall in 141 years of football.
Keep On Going
Harvard has the FCS's longest current winning streak. The Crimson has won 13 straight dating back to its dramatic 24-21 win over Dartmouth at Harvard Stadium Nov. 2, 2013. The current 13-game streak is tied for the sixth longest in team history. The program's longest was 24 games from 1890-1891.
The Crimson's 13-game win streak is the second longest Division I (Florida State 26).
Harvard has also won 10 straight Ivy League contests. The program record for consecutive Ivy wins is 12 games from 2001-02.
Thank You, Seniors
Saturday's game will mark the final game for 21 seniors on the Harvard football team. During their time in Cambridge, the class has posted an overall record of 35-4 and an Ivy League mark of 24-3.
Dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season, Harvard has rattled off 10-consecutive wins on the road, including a 5-0 mark this fall. The streak is the longest in the FCS and third longest in all of Division I (Ohio State (13), Florida State (12).
The Crimson last lost on the road, 30-21, at Penn Nov. 10, 2012, and has gone two full seasons without dropping a game away from Cambridge. The Harvard program record for longest road undefeated streak is 12 games from 1974-77.
Harvard blocked three kicks in the 34-24 win at Penn. Sean Ahern and Asante Gibson each deflected punts, while Ryan Delisle rejected a field-goal attempt.
With his 1.0 sacks at Penn Nov. 15, defensive end Zack Hodges now has 25.0 in his career (3.0 as freshman, 9.0 as sophomore, 6.5 as junior, 6.5 as senior) and is the school's all-time leader.
The all-time Ivy League sack leader is Penn's Michael Turner (1990-93), who finished his career with 31.0.
Running The Ball
Harvard has scored at least one rushing touchdown in 23-straight games. The last time the Crimson was kept out of the end zone on the ground came in a 39-34 loss at Princeton Oct. 20, 2012.
Senior quarterback Conner Hempel is Harvard's all-time leader in completion percentage (.667, 216-of-324).
This season, junior QB Scott Hosch ranks 29th in the nation in completion percentage (.619, 109-of-176), while Harvard quarterbacks are 18th overall in the country (.642, 154-of-240).
Better Than Average
With nine wins this year, Harvard has clinched its 116th season at .500 or better in the program's 141-year history. It also marks the Crimson's 16th-straight year at .500 or better.
Andrew Fischer ranks 21st in the country in kickoff returns, averaging 25.1 yards per return. Fischer also stands 23rd in punt returns (9.4 avg.).
With his performance this year, Fischer now ranks third in school history in career kickoff return average (23.3). His 25.1 average this year is the fourth best mark for a season in team history.
Stanton Hits The Record Books
With his 235 yards on the ground at Penn Nov. 15, Paul Stanton, Jr. moved up to seventh in team history with 1,988 career rushing yards on 315 carries (6.3 avg.) Stanton is also now tied for fourth in the Harvard record books with 26 rushing touchdowns, having found the back of the end zone seven times this fall.
Harvard Owns New England
Since 1994, the Crimson owns a record of 105-42 (.714) in games played in New England. Since the 2001 campaign, Harvard stands at 80-15 (.842), and the team is 26-2 since 2011 (.929) in contests held in the region.